Biography Little Feat

Little Feat

Little Feat
The long-running funky Southern boogie act Little Feat have been making slick, genre-defying music since their debut out of Southern California in 1969. Melding rock, blues, R&B, and country, Little Feat drew inspiration from Southern-fried blues rock -- and yet they originated from Los Angeles with songwriter and guitarist Lowell George at the helm.

Naming themselves "Feat" in tribute to the Beatles, Little Feat at first consisted of Lowell George and Bill Payne, who played in Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention. They teamed up with former Mothers of Invention bassist Roy Estrada and drummer Richie Hayward (The Factory, Fraternity Of Man). Zappa famously helped Little Feat get signed to Warner Bros. Records, and the band released their self-titled debut album in 1971. A sophomore album, Sailin' Shoes, followed in 1972.

That same year, Little Feat brought in a new bassist, Kenny Gradney. The band also added a second guitarist, Paul Barrere, and drummer Sam Clayton. Adopting a New Orleans funk sound, Little Feat released Dixie Chicken in 1973 and Feats Don't Fail Me Now (a tribute to the Fats Waller song) in 1974.

Little Feat went on to release 1975's jazz-fusion album The Last Record Album and 1977's Time Loves A Hero. In 1978, they released the double-live album Waiting For Columbus, followed by 1979's Down On The Farm. Around this time, George embarked on a short-lived solo career, releasing the album Thanks, I'll Eat It Here. George died of a heart attack in 1979, and Little Feat would disband until 1988 when Payne, Barrere, Hayward, Gradney, and Clayton re-formed the group, adding vocalist/guitarist Craig Fuller and guitarist Fred Tackett.

Back together again, the newly re-formed Little Feat released Let It Roll in 1988 -- the album eventually went gold. Three more reunion albums followed: Representing The Mambo (1989), Shake Me Up (1991), and Ain't Had Enough Fun (1995). Ain't Had Enough Fun featured singer Shaun Murphy, who stayed on for 1998's Under The Radar and 2000's Chinese Work Songs.

Little Feat released a handful of compilations and live recordings over the next few years, including 2002's Ripe Tomatos Volume One, 2006's The Best of Little Feat, and 2011's 40 Feat: The Hot Tomato Anthology 1971-2011. In 2003, Little Feat released Kickin' It At The Barn, their first album for their own indie label, Hot Tomato Records. Rocky Mountain Jam arrived in 2007, and Join The Band followed in 2008 on Proper Records.

In 2010, Little Feat founding member Richie Hayward passed away. Little Feat continued touring with Gabe Ford on percussion. Little Feat released a new album in 2012. In October 2019, a few years after a liver cancer diagnosis, Barrere passed away. He'd written some of the band's best-known songs, including "All That You Dream," "Time Loves a Hero" and "Old Folks Boogie."

Scott Sharrard, who had filled in for Barrere during Little Feat's 50th Anniversary tour, was brought on as a full-time band member.

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